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How to Step Off the Default Path


How to Step Off the Default Path


Paul Millerd shares an article of encouragement and advice for all professionals and creatives who want to take a step into freelance life.

27 months ago, I wrote to you from a small apartment in Barcelona. I remember sitting down to write and looking out to a small but densely packed street alive with energy.

I was writing issue #100 and it felt like a good excuse to be a bit bolder. In that issue, I made a call for 100x more creators. I wanted to encourage more people to take a chance and put their ideas out there, find the others, and in some cases, become self-employed or do something entrepreneurial.

Those ideas were seeds that evolved and grew into The Pathless Path and in the time since I decided to write the book in late 2020, I’ve seen more people from around the world lean into this new way of living and working.

However, far too many people are still sitting on the sidelines.

I believe that we are in the early days of what will be remembered as one of the greatest times to be alive for hyper-curious people who are willing to be creative, connect with others, and share their ideas online.

Leaning into this new kind of path still involves fear and insecurity, real and perceived losses of status, and a lack of a good story for what you are doing to tell others.

While these fears and costs are real, many are not as bad as people think and on top of that, the stigmas of creating online or following a path like mine are rapidly decreasing.

When I left my job in 2017 I thought I was a rare exception. Since then, I’ve connected with thousands of people around the world and a mini-scene has emerged of hyper-curious weirdos who are sharing ideas online. Each year I’ve been self-employed I have underestimated the opportunities in front of me and it seems that there is still a massive disconnect between the quality of opportunities and the real and perceived “tax” that one needs to pay if they want to create online or leave the default path.

This disconnect can only last so long. This means there is a massive arbitrage opportunity for a certain kind of person that loves engaging with ideas, enjoys connecting with others around those ideas, going down obscenely deep rabbit holes, teaching people, and helping others in specific domains.

If you are a curious person and want to build your life around exploring ideas, this is a great time to be alive and selfishly, I want you to join in the fun.

Here’s a mini-roadmap that might help you make it happen:

Key points include:

  • Assess Your Reality Tunnel

  • The Inspiration Deficit

  • Imagine Counterfactuals

Read the full article, The Great Creator Arbitrage Opportunity, on